'The Wiz Live!' scores for NBC

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With an estimated audience of 11 million, the network's third live musical all but guarantees a fourth

Don’t believe the Wiz when he says his magic isn’t real.

One year after "Peter Pan Live!" delivered disappointing ratings for NBC (at least compared to the ratings bonanza that was 2013’s "The Sound of Music") "The Wiz Live!" delivered a knockout punch that all but guaranteed there would be a fourth live musical in the Peacock Net’s future.

The show scored an estimated 11.14 million viewers and a 3.3 rating in target adults 18-49 (from 8-11 p.m.), based on the preliminary fast affiliate data from Nielsen. Comparably, and excluding sports, this was the highest-rated Thursday for any network since Sept. 25, 2014. This was NBC’s second-highest-rated Thursday since "The Sound of Music" on Dec. 5, 2013, and its second-best non-sports Thursday since April 2, 2009 (which featured the series-finale of "ER").

"The Wiz," additionally, came in 121 percent above the total viewer average for NBC on Thursday this season.

Particularly impressive for "The Wiz "— unlike "The Sound of Music" and "Peter Pan" before it — was its success versus the competition. CBS’ Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions game on "Thursday Night Football" averaged an estimated 12.49 million viewers and a 3.3 rating in adults 18-49 in primetime, tying "The Wiz" in the demo. And competing annual ABC special "CMA Country Christmas" scored a respectable 5.75 million viewers from 9-11 p.m. Combined, the Big 3 nets totaled 28.83 million viewers. Though results for any live event are always approximate until the release of Nielsen’s Live + Same Day data, the numbers suggest an impressive night overall for the traditional networks.

Despite the added competition, "The Wiz" bested "Peter Pan" (Viewers: 9.21 million; A18-49: 2.4 rating, based on the Live + Same Day data) by 1.93 million viewers (or 21%) and 37% in the demo. "The Sound of Music" on this night in 2013, the first in the franchise, averaged 18.62 million viewers and a 4.6 rating in the demo.

In social media, "The Wiz Live" topped all of television on Thursday, with 41.246 total actions (based on the total volume of post-level likes, shares, favorites, retweets and comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), according to social content provider Shareblee. It was also the No. 1 most social live special program since Nielsen Social began tracking Twitter TV activity in October 2011 (excluding award shows and political events).  A total of  279,400 people sent 1.6 million tweets about The Wiz Live! and 6.4 million people saw those Tweets a total of 128.9 million times. Comparably, this was more than double the tweets of the earlier live NBC musical specials combined.


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